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Alumni Ventures Group’s (AVG) limited partners aren’t endowment or pension funds. Its typical LP is a heart surgeon in Des Moines, Iowa.
The firm has both an unorthodox model of fundraising and dealmaking. Across 25 micro funds, AVG is raising and investing upwards of $200 million per year for and in tech startups.
Boston - Limelight - Silicon - Valley - Attention
Tucked away in Boston, far from the limelight of Silicon Valley, few seem to be paying attention to AVG. There are a few reasons why, and those seem to be working in the firm’s advantage.
Today, AVG is announcing a close of roughly $30 million for three additional funds: Green D Ventures, Chestnut Street Ventures and Purple Arch Ventures, which represent capital committed by Dartmouth, the University of Pennsylvania and Northwestern alums, respectively.
“People don’t really know what to make of us”
AVG walks and talks like a venture fund, but a peek under the hood reveals its unconventional fundraising mechanisms.
Minimum - Investments - LPs - AVG - Alums
Rather than collecting $5 million minimum investments from institutional LPs, AVG takes $50,000 directly from individual alums of prestigious universities. The firm pools the capital and creates university-specific venture funds for graduates of Duke, Stanford, Harvard, MIT and several other colleges.
“People don’t really know what to make of us because we’re so different,” said Michael Collins, AVG’s founder and chief executive officer.
Collins - AVG - Venture - Capital - People
Collins started AVG to make venture capital more accessible to individual people. He’s been a VC since 1986, formerly of TA Associates, and had grown tired of the hubris that runs rampant in the industry. In 2014, he started a $1.5 million fund for alums of his alma mater, Dartmouth. Since then, AVG has grown into 25 funds each of which fundraise annually and are seeing substantial growth over their previous raises.
“What we observed is VC is a really good asset class but it’s really designed for institutional investors,” Collins...
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